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Nice forum!

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Searching around I just discovered your place here. Looks very nice.

I've been reading through the tutorials and stuff and will search for specific things so please don't think I'm being lazy, I just have a lot of ground to cover.

I'm planning a fretless 5 string project and have most of my stuff rounded up. Still haven't decided on the body shape or woods, but I'll come up with something soon. Maybe I'll shoot some ideas by you guys to get some opinions later.

So I'm planning out this bass.. I got some very nice stuff from Thelumberlady or Yumahardwoods, whatever her business is actually called. Anyway, I'm happy with what I got although my choices may not have been the best. So some input would be great if you don't mind. I bought one board each of hardrock maple and black mesquite that are both 1-7/8 x 4 x 40 for laminating the neck, and one 3/8 x 3-1/2 x 30 lignum vitae for the fingerboard. Well the mesquite I thought was a great idea because it's supposed to be very stable, but it doesn't ring a whole lot when I hold it up and knock on it. It's not dead, but it has a much lower pitch than the maple and doesn't ring out as loud or clear. Also, the lignum will hardly ring at all. It may be that it's the thinness and length of the piece, but I'm concerned that the stuff may just be a dampening material despite its hardness. So maybe that's why I haven't seen a lot of lignum fingerboards? I just don't know. It's relatively easy to find info about why stuff is done the way it is, not so easy to find why not! So first question I have is: have I got a bad combination of woods? I know each guitar is going to have it's own character, and I like that aspect of building, but I don't want its character to be dead or confused either.

Next question I have is about books. What construction book might be most interesting to a neckthru fretless 5 string bass builder wannabe? (Me and Rugman, lol) I have some idea of what's going on, and I have the trussrod and tuners already from LMII. I also have an Ibanez EDB 690 bass that will be my pickup and electronics donor.

Whoops, next question. Doh. Ok the donor bass is a 4 string and I'm going to build a 5. Ibanez' website shows different pickups for the 4 and 5 string models, but I can't find the difference. The outside of the pickup measures the same on both my Ibanez 4 string and 5 strings. I even took some steel filings and sealed them in a plastic bag and layed on the pickup to check the polepieces under the cover. They're both blade shaped and measure the same length! I don't understand why Ibanez would bother using different pickups unless there is a frequency sensitivity difference or something? Even if that's the case, wouldn't a more treble oriented pickup be well suited for a fretless 5 string with flatwounds?

So much for simple introductions, haha!

Here are some pics of my existing basses and the one guitar I built. The guitar is from a Carvin neck and electronics, Kahler trem, hardrock maple body and quilted mahogany veneer. I built it in 1981-1984 I think. Had the carved body rolling around the trunk of my car for a few months while I was saving up for that neck. Crazy high school kids, I tell ya.

My bass stuff and some more text from Guitar.com

My heavy duty mockingird

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Nice guitar!

Welcome to the forum. We're not all nice. :D But we're all supportive of building guitars <chuckle>.

Sorry, no real answers to your questions, but just wanted to welcome you aboard.


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Thanks Greg,

Looks like nobody has any answers around here. Huh. Ok well I guess I'll pioneer this one then. I'll post progress pics and findings as I go if anyone is interested. When is this board most active, weekdays or weekends? Have I just come in at a slow time?

Still very much open to suggestions, tips or words of wisdom.

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This place is most active whilst I'm sleeping :D I'm in England so I guess thats like the evening and night for americans, where most of the guys are from... theres some brits, europeans and aussies on here... but mostly americans, so I guess thats why its busyiest at that time...

The reason perhaps for lack of replies is cus they're not reading it as they think your just saying hi and introducing yourself, and not asking questions... they're a big bunch of helpful guys on here, helped me out a fair bit so far with my first project :D hopefully should be getting started on my body sometime in the next week when I go buy my wood :D

Wish I could help you but I'm a guitar building newbie B) but good luck with your project!! :D

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Welcome aboard! :D

Wow, lots of questions. Not sure where to begin.

I think your choice of wood is fine. Hard rock Maple is very standard for a guitar. Not sure about the black mesquite, but I would guess that even that wood would work. Around here, the two main woods that get dissed regularly are Pine and Balsa. :D

For the book, I and everyone else will tell you to get Melvyn Hiscock's book. Though bassed on guitars, it does have a bass project in it, and it does go about a fretted neck to fretless conversion. That's really the best place to start because it covers many of the fundamentals of building.

When is the board most active? Almost all the time. I have to force myself to stay off so I can get some work done. I'd much rather talk about guitars, play them and build them more than anything. But, that doesn't pay the bills. B)

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Thanks Johnson and Jehle,

I'll run out to see if Barnes and Noble has that book right now! If not I suppose Amazon.com? Or is there a better source you may know of for that one?

I was checking out the black mesquite today and was surprised at just how hard that stuff is. About the same as the hardrock maple but looks a lot nicer. I think laminated with the maple it will make a great combination for tone and appearance.

Hey, you know balsa is a hardwood right? :D

Next question. Simple one though. What's your favorite free pic hosting site? I tried the free Yahoo! one and hated that. I'm going to need to get something decent. I maight even have to *GULP* pay for it.

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wow, loving it, it looks mega sweet man! B)

here's what I'm planning on making:


Currently I'm waiting on my bridge to come from america, and this guy to post the neck I got off of ebay... I'm gonna freekin hassle him soon if he doesn't send it!

Once I've got those bits then I'll move on to getting my wood and starting on my body, and sort out all the placement and stuff... then bah, lots to do! Need to raise some more cash too... as its gonna cost me a fair bit for my pick-ups and electronics :D

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Very cool xafier,

I especially like the finish you have there. Very dynamic!

I would suggest a small change on the body shape though.

I would round off the top horn outside into one nice sweeping curve. I think that would enhance the already good looks of your guitar, and you will thank me later if you sit to play much. I can tell you from my mockinbird experience that the top corner will hit you in the ribs. At the very least, you'lll want to put a nice back contour on that corner.

I'm thinking something more like the Guild X-79 shape on the outside of the top hook, and just angle the inside down a tiny bit to maintain the nice taper you have.


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Thanks Brian,

I got that plate along with the neck,tuners, pickups, pots, knobs and output jack all in one order from Carvin. In 1984, so I don't know if you could get the same now or not. Funny thing about that guitar is that I drew the body from about a two inch long pic in a magazine ad and had never seen a "real live" mockingbird. When I did see and play one a few years later it was sort of a letdown :D

Of course not everyone wants a guitar that weighs more than a Les Paul!

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First off, Welcome Wademeister, and sweet bird, I recognize the pickups and was gpoin to ask but you already answered... On the output jack plate, Carvin still have them, I don't knowif they offer it in mono on the same size, but the pic that they posted is for the stereao, 2 holes and is the same size as yours! So I would call them to check... Very nice work... You should go to the main site and look at Draks Bones, Deja vu, and he got one that looks just likethe drawing that you fixed, just that it's on the works...

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